In a world full of schedules, pressure and commitments, the force of it all can weigh us down. It leads most of us to look for an escape—and to find one that’s both healthy and refreshing, The Lab has partnered with the W Hotel Philadelphia to introduce Hydroga at the hotel’s WET Deck pool.
For those who don’t know, The Lab is the city’s own concierge for health and human performance.
“We envision a healthier and higher performing society; one built for longevity— where communities are better equipped to balance their personal investment in movement, rest, and nourishment in order to live an enriched quality of life,” the official website states.
With that vision in mind, it was an easy partnership to make when the W Hotel in Philly wanted to find ways to offer more for their guests and the community, specifically with its outdoor pool—which is heated to 98 degrees in the winter.
The 45-minute Hydroga experience takes Philadelphians to the 7th floor of the Center City venue. The WET Deck pool is somewhat of an urban oasis: When you look around, you see the skyscrapers and buildings that the city is known for, but the Deck itself is lush (the W even has its own “secret garden” on the floor) and green, with a full bar, cabanas, fire pit, and lounge areas stacked around the pool.
With the chilly air all around, stepping into the heated pool gives the sensation of stepping into a hot tub—but one you can swim around in with a group of 20 of your friends. For the Hydroga experience however, groups run up to 14-15 participants.
Dave from The Lab leads the group through the underwater class, which involves a combination of dynamic, therapeutic and even philosophical movements that lead to one practice—healing. Dave explained at the beginning of the class that this reporter attended that the pressures of life weigh us all down. Being in the water reminds us all of a feeling we forget to experience in our day-to-day grind… weightlessness.
Being in the water also helps with yoga-goers who may be experiencing some joint or muscle pain, and it ultimately alleviates the fear of falling, fear of trying certain moves and the fear of how you look in a class. The group is collectively in the water, and even though you’re in a pool together, you feel as though you have your own space.
That ideology is shown even more so when you begin class with a meditative breathing exercise. You see the ripples your breath and body creates in the water, and the fluid and visual moments last throughout the whole experience—which also involves plenty of stretching, cardio and then a peaceful meditation to help you start your day in a completely different mind frame from when you first started.
While at Hydroga, Philadelphians check in at the W’s AWAY Spa. You get a robe for the duration of your experience, and you’re able to change in the locker room (note that you keep your stuff with you on the Deck, which has plenty of space), and you can use the same facilities to shower when class is done. Afterwards, a coffee and juice bar is available, or, you could spend your time having a bit more of a dip in the pool, which most of us did after class.
The other perk to the experience is a complimentary enhancement at the spa for a future treatment, which you can book at the end of the class. This spa offers an array of normal services along with some customizable packages and add-ons that will make your stay here unique. Treatments range from body scrubs and wraps, facials, hair and scalp treatments, lip treatments, manicures/pedicures, massages and men’s services.
A few prime examples of the add-ons include their eye recovery, glow peel and gua sha for facials; belly serum, melt and scalp treatment for massages; quench, detox or sculpt for your body; and much, much more. The price list ranges from anywhere from $165-$235 for massages, detoxes and facials and around $20-$150 for add-ons (which are waived after a Hydroga session). Mani-pedis on the other hand range from $30-$105 depending on what you’re getting, with additional add-ons which normally cost around $10.
The winter sessions of Hydroga with The Lab at the W Hotel Philadelphia will run every Sunday until the end of March. February sessions are booked up, but there is still room for next month’s classes to take a dip, stretch, relax and recharge with this one-of-a-kind experience.
For more information on tickets ($45) and schedules, visit wetdeckphilly.com